Hacked Qatar news site behind crisis back on Twitter

Hacked Qatar news site behind crisis back on Twitter
2 min read
28 May, 2018
In its first tweet since May 24 last year, the Qatar News Agency announced the emir had sent a message to Azerbaijan's president.

Qatar has been blockaded for nearly one year [Getty]
Qatar's state-run news agency returned to Twitter on Monday for the first time since its hacked website carried controversial comments from the emir that sparked a Gulf crisis.

In its first tweet since May 24 last year, the Qatar News Agency announced the emir had sent a message to Azerbaijan's president, Ilham Aliyev.

The return to social media follows QNA gaining notoriety last May, when a press release purporting to contain quotes from the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, appeared on its website.

In comments said to have been from a military graduation ceremony, the emir allegedly expressed understanding for Hizballah and Hamas, and claimed Donald Trump might not last long as US president. 

But Doha insists the explosive remarks were fake and that the website was "hacked by an unknown entity".

But less than a fortnight later, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt abruptly broke off diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar, accusing it of having links with radical groups and seeking closer ties with Iran.

Qatar vehemently denies the charges and the boycott remains in place almost a year later.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said he wants the 11-month dispute between Qatar and its neighbours to end because it "benefits Iran".

Qatar says the Saudi-led countries are seeking regime change in Doha, while the spat has remained in a stalemate.

Trump initially showed support for Riyadh during the blockade of Qatar, but faced resistance from most policy makers and advisers.

Since then he has tried publically to bridge the divide and urged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the "senseless" dispute.

Last month, Trump met Qatari Emir Tamim Al Thani, heaping praise on the leader.

Qatar, the world's number one exporter of liquefied natural gas, has withstood the economic and financial impact of the crisis.